Data is not available on the impact of tourism on heritage sites.
Also refer to Indicator AAT-18 Annual tourist ship visits and tourist numbers
While data is available on the level of tourism to Australia’s Antarctic Territory (refer to Antarctic indicator AAT-18 Annual tourist ship visits and tourist numbers ), data is not available on the impact of tourism on heritage sites.
Tourists can damage sites by inadvertent trampling of artefacts, especially in extreme weather. Increasing numbers of visitors entering buildings, like Mawson’s Hut, put pressure on the structures and may inadvertently damage portable elements.
Tourist visits to Australian sub-Antarctic islands and Australian Antarctic Territory account for a small proportion (less than 1%) of the world total of Antarctic-bound shipborne tourists. The data suggests no increases in tourist visits to Australian sites.
Between 1998 and 2004, 202 tourists on 6 vessels visited Heard Island. Visits to Heard Island remain infrequent. There were no authorised visits in six of the last ten years. The last visit was in 2002-03.
Tourists have visited Macquarie Island at a relatively constant rate over the past ten years. In the eighteen years since 1987, 5180 tourists on 75 vessels have visited Macquarie Island. To date the seasonal total has remained below the limit set by the Tasmanian management plan, which is currently 750 tourists per year.
Since 2002-03, 100 tourists on 4 vessels have visited Commonwealth Bay which is the site of Mawson’s Huts.
Impact of tourists
‘Humans have removed and relocated artefacts and buildings, particularly at Atlas Cove (Heard Island). While few tourists have been able to land in Heard Island, the impact of tourism is potentially significant, since the few tourists who have visited have strongly lobbied for the removal of Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition buildings, due to their adverse aesthetic impact’ (Hughes et. al. 2000).
‘Human intervention has, arguably, been the greatest destructive agency on the cultural resources on Macquarie Island. Souveniring by early ANARE expeditioners has led to a loss of in situ information. Other larger item such as trypots and a wooden wagon, which were considered by various expeditioners to be under threat of destruction, were moved to the ANARE station. Unfortunately, no storage or conservation facilities exist on the island which has led to the loss of many of these artefacts; they either fell to bits, were souvenired, or were taken to the tip by later expeditioners who do not realise their significance’ (Townrow, 1989, 143).
Source: Hughes, J and Lazer, E, 2000, Importance of Historic Sites on Heard Island for Protection of Scientific Resources and Environmental Management of a World Heritage Site
Source: Townrow K, 1989, Survey and Excavation of Historic Sites on Macquarie Island, Department of Lands, Parks and Wildlife, Tasmania.
More heritage/archaeological surveys and monitoring is required for a more complete understanding of the impact of tourism on heritage sites and collections.
Australian Antarctic Territory — Cultural heritage aspects - Pressures and risks on heritage sites and collections
This indicator examines the level of tourism in Australia’s Antarctic Territory and its impact on the condition of heritage sites.
Other indicators for this issue:
- AATH-09 Surveys of impacts of isolation on heritage sites
- AATH-11 Survey of impacts of uncontrolled visits on heritage sites
- AATH-12 Survey of impacts of weather on heritage sites
- AATH-14 Survey of impacts of hazardous material on heritage sites
- AATH-15 Survey of impacts of flora and fauna on heritage sites
Links to another web site
Links to data in the DRS
Opens a pop-up window